Dubai is undeniably one of the best food hubs in the world. Its impressive grasp of its own heritage along with its multicultural nature allow for an interesting mix of dishes and a broad range of options for foodies. The Filipino Times visited one of the oldest restaurants in the UAE, Golded Fork, to treat our taste buds of this multicultural feast. Here’s what we think:
For starters, Golden Fork has a long history of serving casual diners with dishes from different parts of the world. Currently, the restaurant offers 279 dishes from various influences. We could only try so much, so we ordered their bestsellers: the mouthwatering seafood platter, the famous Bouillabaisse soup, the special Tom Yang, the very satisfying Pancit, and the nostalgic Bulalo. Yum!
The seafood platter looked amazing. It’s jam-packed with different seafood from fish, squid, shrimp, crabs, mussels, and a lobster. We Filipinos are extremely picky with our seafood, and Golden Fork’s platter is a winner. Our favorite among the bunch was the Calamari, which was fried to perfection and was very tender. It’s reasonable priced too, especially if you bring the whole gang with you.
Both the Bouillabaisse and the Tom Yang were excellent. Interestingly, Golden Fork’s Bouillabaisse soup is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes – people flock to their different branches for it, and they serve more than 200 bowls every day. Chefs Mark Sumodebila and Baby Cheetah, two of their amazing chefs who have been in the restaurant for more than a decade, said that they experimented on the soup, and made it their own. Aside from using tomatoes, Golden Fork likes their Bouillabaisse with cheese and cream – arguably the best food combination ever. The Tom Yang didn’t disappoint either – its sour and spicy taste was truly appetizing.
A Filipino party staple, Golden Fork’s Pancit was really flavorful. They put fresh seafood and it really offered a taste of home. Same with the Bulalo, which I must say was by far the best I had here in Dubai. Also, the Bulalo was served in a humungous bowl. I was surprise when I learned of the price – this alone makes Golden Fork an easy choice for diners.
Our dining experience was made special by the incredible service of the staff. For instance, they give hot towels to customers upon settling down on wooden dining sets with a very vintage feel. Although the Golden Fork we visited was the one in Al Rigga, the same level of customer care is promised on all the six operational branches of Golden Fork. The Abu Dhabi branch, which has a guest capacity of 523 pax, will be opened by December.
Recently, people have speculated Golden Fork’s fate. However, Kristine Montero, who heads the operations, assured that they are doing the best they can to keep the restaurant’s legacy intact as well as to improve its services to keep up with the competition. The new management aims to open all 27 branches soon, as it believes that people aren’t ready to say goodbye to Golden Fork yet. The golden tradition indeed has to be continued.